More John Coltrane: Coltrane for Lovers
is the second Coltrane volume in a series of about fifteen CDs recently released by the Verve Music Group highlighting popular ballad performances from well-known artists. This series is drawn from Verve Group's extensive collection of pre-70s classic jazz; not surprisingly, most of the tracks on this CD were culled from two of Coltrane's best-selling Impulse records, "Ballads," and "John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman." The CD also includes two lesser-known but superior performances, a live 1961 Village Vanguard performance of "Naima" with Eric Dolphy on bass clarinet, and "You're A Weaver of Dreams," lifted from the classic 1959 Cannonball Adderly Quintet In Chicago
The John Coltrane Quartet with McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, and Jimmy Garrison was one of the most focused jazz combos in the history of the music. This group performs the majority of the tunes on this CD, and though their material is exclusively ballads, the intensity of John Coltrane's playing never diminishes.
The tune set is enjoyable, the sound is first-rate, and I always enjoy hearing the under appreciated Johnny Hartman sing. There is nothing new here for the Coltrane collector, but like most major label compilation efforts this CD is a good, non-threatening introduction for non-jazz listeners to the artistry of John Coltrane.